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Wednesday’s temperature highs in Okanagan-Shuswap break century of records

Environment Canada says return to cooler weather expected by Friday
Destiny and Zion Orchard enjoy some swing time at Salmon Arm’s Blackburn Park during the unusually warm December weather on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

Don’t break out the summer wardrobe just yet.

Although December made its entrance with unwinterlike behaviour, breaking temperature records galore in the Okanagan-Shuswap, it is a fleeting phenomenon.

Geoff Coulson, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada, said winter will return to the region on Friday with temperatures around zero and a more traditional December. The only difference from normal for the rest of the month is that overnight temperatures could be slightly warmer than usual, perhaps averaging -2 C instead of -5.

However, Wednesday, Dec. 1 has been defying all temperature traditions.

Speaking about 11 a.m. Dec. 1, Coulson said the temperature in Salmon Arm was on the rise, already at 17 C.

That shatters a record set in 1995 in Salmon Arm of 11.4 C.

Kelowna was also at 17 C, breaking a record of 13 C set in 2012.

Similarly in Penticton, at 16 C Wednesday morning, that temperature outdid by far the record of 11.2 C set in 2012.

For Vernon, the thermometer was at 16.3 C, with its previous record of 11.2 C also set in 2012.

Coulson said the records are “doubly impressive,” because all four communities have been keeping records for more than 100 years.

He said the high temperatures were delivered by a third recent system that has been delivering rain and snow to Coastal areas.

As the strong southwest airmass comes over the mountain into the Okanagan Valley, the sinking motion brings winds and the warm temperatures the region is experiencing. But it won’t stay and will move to the east, bringing snow and rain to eastern B.C. as it moves over higher elevations.

“The best advice for readers is to get out and enjoy the warm weather because winter is coming back,” Coulson advised.

Read more: Sumas, Wa., sounds flood siren, Nooksack River flowing over U.S. border into Abbotsford

Read more: Evacuees from Merritt shaken, stressed, but grateful for support in Salmon Arm
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Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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